Be careful, those holiday coffee drinks could ruin your diet

WASHINGTON — They are warm and soothing, and taste great on a December day. But those special holiday coffee drinks can do a number on your waistline.

“Be mindful of drinking your calories,” warned Dr. Domenica Rubino, director of the Washington Center for Weight Management and Research in Arlington, Virginia.

She said seasonal hot drinks can pack anywhere from 250 to 500 calories a serving, depending on the size.

But it is not just the calorie count that is shocking. These drinks are also loaded with sugar, according to Rubino, who said a 16-ounce drink can contain 10 to 11 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.

Add on a scone or a slice of pumpkin bread and there is the potential for that snack to add 600 to 900 calories to your daily intake — more than a typical meal.

Another problem is all those alcohol-laced drinks served during the holiday season, like eggnog. They can be a diet-buster in more ways than one.

“Alcohol lowers our inhibitions, altering decisions about food,” Rubino said. “We simply tend to eat more when we drink alcohol.”

She said an occasional holiday splurge is fine, but don’t do it on a daily basis.

Another tip is to apply the same rule dieters use with soups to fancy winter drinks: Go for the clear — like a glass of champagne — instead of the creamy ones.

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